ECONOMYNEXT- A 47-year-old man arrested in Matale for allegedly maintaining ‘baby farms’ was released on conditional bail and two sureties worth Rs 200,000 each by the Moratuwa Magistrate’s court today, December 23.
The suspect was produced before the courts this morning on charges of child trafficking.
The suspect has been ordered to reappear before the Moratuwa Magistrate’s Court on 04 January next year.
According to Police Media Spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana, the suspect has contacted pregnant women who were the victims of rape and sexual abuse and had brought them to two places in Kaldemulla, Moratuwa where he had allegedly entered into an agreement with the pregnant women to sell their babies to third parties.
DIG Rohana said such trafficking of infants is called baby farms in other countries and according to section 360 of the Penal Code human trafficking is an offence, so the suspect will be charged under that as selling an unborn fetus is seen as human trafficking.
He said that from the investigations conducted by the Child and Women Bureau of Police, they were able to find 12 pregnant mothers who had entered into agreements with the suspect.
He added that five of the women had already sold their infants to third parties and another three mothers with their babies and another 12 pregnant women were living under the protection of the suspect at the two places in Moratuwa.
The police have found that the suspect has sold 30 infants to third parties as soon as they were born, Rohana alleged.
The existence of so-called ‘baby farms’ was the most important reason for the Sri Lankan government to suspend inter-country adoption in 1987.
Following a Dutch documentary that showed up to 11,000 of babies born in Sri Lanka were fraudulently sold for adoption abroad in the 1980s, former Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne admitted to the entire world that such things had happened during the 80s which led to the suspension of inter-country adoption. (Colombo/Dec23/2020)
Reported by Imesh Ranasinghe